Here are four easy ways to make money passively. Two of these methods require you to spend some capital and they potentially net you more than the free methods. This list is in ascending order of money earning potential.
Also, bear in mind there are many other ways to make money passively these are simply the easiest, most reliable, and generally highest paying methods I have found in practice.
1) Google Opinion Rewards
This method is by far the easiest way to make passive money, that said it also is likely to net you the least amount of money. For those who don’t know, Google Opinion Rewards is an app available for iOS and Android that allows you to make money answering surveys provided by Google.
You can choose to redeem the money you earn as either Google Play Store credit or PayPal credit. A typical survey usually takes about 20 seconds to answer and will usually pay about 0.15 cents or higher. So this method is a very easy way to make a few dollars casually by answering surveys.
My only gripe with this method is that it is not extremely consistent from user to user. Some users receive several surveys a day, while other users have reported only receiving a handful a week. So your mileage may vary, but this method can typically net you about $30–40 a month assuming you receive and answer surveys often. Now there are a few tricks that you can do to try to get more surveys, but none of these are guaranteed to work.
The first trick is to always leave your location services enabled, this will allow Google to send you surveys from nearby businesses. Another tip is to try to find a location that consistently allows you to receive surveys, these places are often shopping complexes, many people have had success near stores such as Home Depot.
These locations are useful because you can often get surveys there every day consistently. This is especially useful if you happen to pass these locations in your day to day travel. One last tip that is useful for Android users specifically is to ensure that in Settings that your phone is not trying to optimize the Rewards app for battery life, this turns off location services whenever the application is not running. While there are many other rewards apps available, I find this to be the most trustworthy.
2) Amazon MTurk
This is one of the less heard of methods for making money. MTurk is a platform created by Amazon that allows people to submit small jobs that require human intelligence and these users pay those who actually complete the tasks within the specified time frame. This method is by far the easiest method to make money for free.
On a good day depending on how much time you put in you can make anywhere from from 15 to even 50 dollars for a reasonably low amount of time spent. Most of the tasks are very simple such as surveys, image classification, light research, giving reviews, etc. The tasks themselves range in rewards from a few cents to sometimes as high as twenty dollars.
Doing a few quick tasks each day is an easy way to make some easy money. One tip for working on this platform is to make use some kind of automation to grab good tasks because many of the easy high paying tasks are grabbed by users using scripts to automatically build their queues. One tool to do this that I would recommend is MTurk Suite, it has extensions for Chrome and Firefox and excellent documentation on its GitHub page and best of all it’s free.
3) Phone Farming
Now we are getting to the methods that require some money up front, but often don’t require much effort to manage short of the initial setup. Phone farming is a simple way to make a few extra bucks every month truly passively. This is an excellent blog post that goes into great detail about what phone farming is and how to become a “phone farmer” (I think that’s a thing).
The TLDR version of that post is that phone farming uses idle or unused phones to run applications that pay you to watch ads or do other things like download applications. Phone farming has the potential to earn you money on the order of $30–50 a month. It is pretty easy to set up you can either use old phones you have or buy some cheap phones if you want to create a full setup.
The article goes into more detail about what phones you should look for when buying: ONLY Android Phones, ≤1 GB of RAM is ideal, ~$15, and only unlocked devices. As far as specific apps to use I encourage you to read the article for specific recommendations depending on what you might be interested in setting up.
4) Invest in Stocks/Cryptocurrency
This method has the potential to make you the most money but also does carry the risk of losing you money. A quick disclaimer none of what I say is going to always be applicable, you will need to do your own research whenever you decide to invest, the stock market and cryptocurrency scene are VERY volatile so you have to make decisions based on the current situation.
Investing in stocks or cryptocurrency is by no means a new way to make money passively, so instead of talking about why to invest, I will focus more on tips to invest wisely. First of all to make the most profit don’t invest in expensive stocks or cryptocurrencies, instead invest in penny stocks or cryptocurrencies with sub-100 dollar values. Some other basic tips that are nothing new are to buy low and sell high and don’t be too greedy with profits, if you think something is going to crash sell out and take the profit you have made.
Investing is all about buying at the knees and selling at the shoulders, trying to buy at the feet and sell at the head is more likely to lose you money. If you really want to get into investing I highly recommend reading “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, it is said to be one of the best books on investing ever written. Other than that stocks and cryptocurrency have to potential to make you a great deal of money assuming you buy and sell smart.
As far as trading platforms to use I highly recommend using Robinhood it allows you to trade commission-free, has a beautiful UI with helpful charts for beginners and has excellent customer support. If you are interested in trading on Robinhood I suggest you create your account with this link to get a free stock that you can instantly sell for a profit when your account is approved.
These are the methods that I personally have found best to make money in a reasonably passive fashion, if you think there are any methods that I have missed and should have been on the list please let me know in the comments section, I would love to learn about something new.
Author: Zayd Abdullah (Zayd is a computer science student. His article was first published on Medium)